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Claire: The Menuing

You ripped off Silent Hill

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We released Claire for PC on Steam in 2014.  When we released it I patiently waited for reviews to show up. A few customer reviews came in and they all seemed to say the same thing.

The game’s audio rips off Silent Hill. Even the menu sounds are the same!

Everyone said the same thing. That the menu sounds were exactly the same ones in Silent Hill. Some even going so far as to say that we ripped the SFX straight from Silent Hill.  During the console release anyone who mentioned the audio said the same thing. Silent Hill rip off. This was both an honor and an annoyance. Mainly because of the creation of the SFX in question.

menuboop

This is it, the menu sound. As you can see, it’s nothing complicated. It’s one layer, just chopped really short.  This is what it sounds like:

 

It’s been forever since I’ve played Silent Hill, but apparently their menu SFX sounds exactly the same.

The creation of this cursed sound though was out of anger and annoyance.  When I had first started doing some menu sounds I did the typical clicks, bloops, etc. I’d send it off to Josh. He’d okay a few, say X Y and Z wouldn’t fit and for me to try to come up with something different. Eventually all the SFX were done except the main menu. Every time I’d send something he would nix it and say “it doesn’t fit”.  I tried literally everything. Recorded sounds. Synthetic sounds. Clicks, bleeps, bloops. Eventually he said, “Maybe something more ‘musical'”. So I went and looked for chimes, gongs, anything that would give a pitched sound. I sent everything off and again, “It doesn’t fit”.  This happened for about a week until, in a fit of rage, I just grabbed a drone sound and chopped it up.

menudrone

Said drone. Here’s what it sounds like:

 

Sound familiar?

To be a smart ass, I sent it to Josh. To my shock, he loved it and the rest is history.

So every time I hear “You ripped off the Silent Hill menu sounds!” I laugh. Because the sound was created out of frustration and annoyance. Because it was the least likely thing I ever would have thought of making. It was practically an “angry accident”. But it worked.

About the Author

Audio Lead for Hailstorm Games. We released Claire, a 2D horror game on PS4, PS Vita, XBox One, and PC. We are full of ideas and always working on our next game. I've also worked with the University of Colorado, have scored short films such as Population 0 and The Rift, and have worked on other games. On top of that I run "Lost Way", an 80's retro inspired side project.